"Things that are and are not, she thinks, and the dog is a snake."
In this fantastic and fantastical debut, C.J. Lavigne concocts a wondrous realm overlaying a city that brims with civic workers and pigeons. Led by her synesthesia, Verity Richards discovers a hidden world inside an old Ottawa theatre. Within the timeworn walls live people who should not exist--people whose very survival is threatened by science, technology, and natural law. Verity must submerge herself in this impossible reality to help save the last traces of their broken community. Her guides: a magician, his shadow-dog, a dying angel, and a knife-edged woman who is more than half ghost.
With great empathy and imagination, In Veritas explores the nature of truth and the complexities of human communication.
Praise for In Veritas:
"[We] walk away from the book with a better understanding of what we choose to see and not see, and how our own stories--consciously and unconsciously filtered through our own perspectives and biases--can simultaneously tell only part of the truth while also revealing the core of who we are."
~ V.F. Armstrong, Strange Horizons
"Lavigne's debut urban fantasy novel, part of the 'Nunatak First Fiction' series, is full of wonder, darkness, and hope.... Reminiscent of the best of Charles de Lint, this is a book readers will not want to put down."
~ Jennifer Beach, Library Journal
"I believe this is C.J. Lavigne's first novel. If so, it is a humdinger of a debut. Reading it was like discovering the joy of reading all over again. An exhilarating novel, despite the pervasive sense of Damocles Sword dangling, because the description and concepts elevate the reader's mood above the potential fate of the characters. This be an amazing book."
~ R. Graeme Cameron, Amazing Stories
"While Ottawa's reputation as 'Dullsville on the Rideau' precedes itself, it was not properly quantified until 2013, when, at the inaugural 'Boring Awards,' Ottawa [was] named Canada's most boring city. There is little doubt that if the members of the jury had been aware of Ottawa's preponderance of dragons, ghosts, and sorcerers, the results would have been different. These are exactly the types of creatures that populate Lavigne's magic-realist version of Bytown. Beyond the novel's fantasy elements, however, there is a nuanced meditation on language and its role in reflecting and determining truth."
~ Zachary Abram, Canadian Literature
"In Veritas by C. J. Lavigne is another book you can sink into. It's a tale that follows a young woman named Verity, whose synesthesia takes on some fantastical elements that make her not quite fit in the mundane world or the magical underbelly she finds in her hometown of Ottawa. If you loved The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab (another top read of mine this year), chances are you'll love In Veritas as well."
"For a story about those struggling to exist in a world that cannot see them, whose gaze and language limits and alters, using dreamlike and distorted description with words that will never be quite right is the only way to tell it."
~ Nadia Tudhope, The Cascade
"The perfect mix of incandescent writing and enthralling storytelling. C.J. Lavigne has given us something we can believe in. Learn to see the dragons."
~ Tanya Huff, author of The Enchantment Emporium
"Like all the best fantasy novels, In Veritas shows us our own world in a way we had never quite considered but somehow have always known. Reading this was like looking through my glasses right after I've cleaned them. I'll never look at my city in quite the same way again."
~ Kate Heartfield, author of Armed in Her Fashion
"Verity is a richly-realised protagonist whose strength and strange vision unites a complicated community, with the very fabric of reality at stake. In Veritas is a surprising and rewarding novel from a talented author."
~ Candas Jane Dorsey, author of Ice & Other Stories